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David

Mountain View, CA, USA | Member Since 2008

56
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 87 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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  • The Power of Now

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Eckhart Tolle
    • Narrated By Eckhart Tolle
    Overall
    (3032)
    Performance
    (1090)
    Story
    (1069)

    To make the journey into The Power of Now you need to leave your analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. Access to the Now is everywhere - in the body, the silence, and the space all around you. These are the keys to enter a state of inner peace.

    annhere says: "AWE INSPIRING!"
    "A truly inspiring and insightful book"
    Overall

    This is a book about spirituality, and if you choose to hear it this way, God. And at the same time I believe an atheist could listen and identify with it. In fact one of the phenomenal things about this book is that an atheist, agnotstic, Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist could all sit with this book and identify with it in their own individual way, be it identifying with the individual, their god, or higher spiritual state of being.

    While the book is along the spirituality line, it really reframes religions, all religions as part of the same whole. And he quotes and discusses the concept of “god” in many different religions, but ties them all back to a single concept. And specifically he discusses the teachings of Christianity and dispels, in an unbelievably eloquent way many of the misinterpretations of the original teachings that are prevalent today

    But the book isn’t about God, it’s simply about one’s self, the author just pulls together western religion, eastern religion, and individual awareness in one framework and shows, with examples from various religions, and mostly from individual experience, how they all point back to the same thing.

    If spirituality is not something you are interested in, and in fact it is only very minimally what I am interested in, you could as easily read and identify with this book on the level of a personal psychology guide. I believe that virtually anyone interested in their own well being will find that this book speaks to them on a level that makes sense for them in their life. To accomplish this is a truly magnificent feat, and the author has my deepest respect for accomplishing this seemingly impossible task.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • You Don't Have to be Born Brilliant

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John McGrath
    • Narrated By John McGrath
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (5)

    John McGrath is one of Australia's youngest and most successful businessmen. With a forecast turnover of almost a billion dollars, his residential real estate company, McGrath Partners hasn't put a foot wrong. Why do some people make it to the top while others don't? Does being at the top matter? Does money equal success? John McGrath would argue no to both those points - success is more than that, and it needn't be either.

    Patrick says: "Few good tips mixed in"
    "Nothing new, nothing exciting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I only got through half the book before giving up. The writer employs existing common sense recommendations to improve your life. Think positive, have goals, overcome your fears, etc. But he rarely reaches any depth with halfhearted analogies, doesn't provide much in terms of support for his recommendations, and often leaves the reader with not more than airy anecdotes such as "Think positive every day".

    You would be far better off reading "The Power of Now", a quarter of which more concisely sums up the few beneficial recommendations in this book, while being truly powerful in its ability to reach inside of, and make it real, for the reader.

    If the writer is not going to break new ground in what he's recommending, he'll need to do a better job at really reaching in to the hearts and minds of his audience and making them able to internalize the recommendations.

    As is, the writer comes across as rather self absorbed, and more interested in writing a biography of his own success than he is in truly touching his readers. That's probably not an easy task, but then again, "Improve your life" self help books are not in short supply.


    Would you ever listen to anything by John McGrath again?

    Unlikely


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John McGrath?

    Irrelevant


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Richard Matthews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6233)
    Performance
    (2099)
    Story
    (2105)

    Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

    Corby says: "Very informative, fun to listen to"
    "A history of scientific progress"
    Overall

    This book provided a nice history of the sciences that have brought us to the current day. It was enlightening and informative and written in a witty and easy to read style.

    I enjoyed it, but I would only recommend it to someone who has an interest in reading about the sciences. It doesn't teach much on any particular topic, rather it gives a summary of the science, it's history, and current state.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Briefer History of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (567)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (105)

    Stephen Hawking's worldwide best seller, A Brief History of Time, has been a landmark volume in scientific writing. Its author's engaging voice is one reason, and the compelling subjects he addresses is another: the nature of space and time, the role of God in creation, the history and future of the universe.

    David says: "Stick with the original: A brief history of time"
    "Stick with the original: A brief history of time"
    Overall

    I mistakenly purchased, and listened to this book when I meant to get the original "A brief history of Time" by Hawkins.

    So now I have listened to both. In my opinion the original is a more rich and detailed book. Of course, that's the point of this book, to consolidate that one.

    But I ask why? The original wasn't beyond most readers ability to understand, and if it was, they probably weren't the type of people reading it.

    So my advice: Stick with the original.

    Perhaps if you want you bright 6 year old to read such a book, this one would be a better option.

    The irony: The beginning of the original (more detailed, and complex version) starts with a sound bite from "Audible Kids", this one does not - that seems backwards. Or perhaps I am just living time backwards - as Hawkins explains - our current theories of physics can't conclusively prove that this isn't the case. :)

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Scott McClellan
    • Narrated By Scott McClellan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (370)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (44)

    Scott McClellan belonged to President Bush's select inner circle of trusted advisers during one of the most challenging, contentious periods of recent history. Over a period of more than seven years, he witnessed, day-to-day, exactly how the presidency veered off course, not only by its decision to topple Saddam Hussein, but by an embrace of confrontational politics in the face of an increasingly partisan Washington and a hostile media.

    Frank says: "Something is Missing"
    "A keen insight regarding our countries leadership"
    Overall

    I appreciated this book for it's very candid view of the white house administration. It discusses how decisions are made, and gives insight into the process of government at the highest levels (something most of us have little experience in).

    I also thought that it gave a reasonably impartial view of the president and other key administration officials. Clearly McClellan takes some issue with how decisions are made, but from this book I came away with a more positive and more negative view of Bush and his advisers in different aspects of their leadership of this country.

    All in all I appreciated the candid view of out countries administration and feel like I'm better able to make decisions about other leaders in the future because of it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • 21: Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ben Mezrich
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (601)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (181)

    In the midst of the Go-Go '90s, the culture of greed infused the MIT campus. A small blackjack club sprang up, dedicated to counting cards and beating the house at major casinos around the country. The Club grew slowly at first, but by the late 1990s, the right people had come up with the right system to take some of the world's most sophisticated casinos for all they were worth.

    Julie says: "Good Book.. HORRIBLE Narrator"
    "A real life thriller"
    Overall

    This book was fantastic, well written, exciting, suspenseful, and amazingly enough, simple, straight forward, and truthful.

    The format of the book was interesting, divided between a documentary style, and that of a novel, but it ends up working very well.

    The story is better than most fiction novels I've read, perhaps the intrigue of it's truth adds some to the suspense, but what an incredible story it is!

    I finished this book in record time (which cost me some in my work productivity). I can only offer the highest possible praise for this book. For it's quality of writing, and for it's unbelievable storyline. I can't imagine anyone not being swept away by it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Tips and Traps When Buying a Home, Third Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Irwin
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    Featuring fully revised facts and figures that reflect the most recent changes in the real estate market, Tips and Traps When Buying a Home, Third Edition provides first-time and experienced home buyers alike with practical, step-by-step information on a broad range of proven home buying strategies, along with indispensable advice and guidance.

    David says: "A fine beginners guide, but lacks substance"
    "A fine beginners guide, but lacks substance"
    Overall

    Ok, if you're new to buying a home and know nothing about the subject, sure, you'll get something out of this book.

    This is something like my third book on the topic, and I keep hoping to find something that goes into more substance about houses, financing, the process, etc.

    He talks about subjects like financing, choosing a property, choosing a realtor, etc., but doesn't do a great job of explaining why you should go one route vs. another. He describes "what" everything is in the world of real estate, but never explains "why" I should go one route or another. He's not very prescriptive. While I understand we all come from different angles he needs to do more to give examples of different scenarios and why one would choose one path vs. another.

    I am also a bit put off by his use of statistics and hearsay. He often times doesn't back up points he makes and statistics he uses with rational evidence and facts. I have been left to wonder whether I should really believe a number of points made in the book.

    Ok, with all the bad out of the way, if this is your first book on real estate, you may be satisfied, so far this one is just slightly better than the average real estate book in my opinion. However, if you're like me and have gone through a few books, don't expect anything groundbreaking here.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Spanish I, Second Revised Edition: Lessons 1 to 5: Learn to Speak and Understand Spanish

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Pimsleur
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    An introduction to the complete program. Includes two-and-a-half hours of spoken-language practice in five 30-minute lessons. Contains lessons 1-5 from the Pimsleur Comprehensive Level I program. Also includes a User's Guide to introduce you to the Pimsleur Method.

    Colleen says: "Best I've found!"
    "The best way to get up to speed on any language"
    Overall

    I have used Pimsleur for Japanese, Polish, and Spanish now. The courses are hands down the most efficient way to get up to speed on a language.

    While I have only started the Spanish lessons, they are fundamentally the same as all other languages.

    The best example I can give is with Japanese, after finishing only 27 half hour courses I was able to navigate the country alone using virtually no English. I toured towns in which I had not booked any accommodations and in which even the tourist information office didn't speak English. I was able to accomplish all of the tasks (bus rides, getting a hotel, food, going to a public hot tub, etc.) on just 27 half hour lessons. I would never have believed that it was possible.

    Of course just 27 lessons was just the bare minimum, so I recommend you finish as many as possible. But for only spending 30 minutes a day on the lessons it's phenomenal what you retain.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By David Bach
    • Narrated By Gavin Hammon
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (8)

    How does an ordinary person with an ordinary income reach their seven-figure dreams? First they must own their own home, and do it David Bach's way. The financial coach who has helped millions to finish rich is back with a simple, powerful solution to get rich in real estate. As David says, "Renters stay poor, homeowners get rich, and smart landlords laugh all the way to the bank!"

    Jason says: "Great Book with Realistic Approach!"
    "Good only if you are completely new to the concept"
    Overall

    While this book wasn't bad, I didn't learn a lot about home buying. The author provide some very grounded advice about how best to invest in real estate for the long run.

    If you are renting today and really don't know much about real estate, how it can benefit you, or where to start - then this book is for you! Consider this a 5 star rating.

    For the rest of us who generally have a notion of what real estate is, how it can be a useful investment, and fundamentally where to begin - you won't glean a lot of new insight from this book. The information contained within is what I would classify as life advice. It is not a good reference to use as an introduction to the home buying experience, either for individual or investment purposes.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Getting Started in Options

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Michael C. Thomsett
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    Overall
    (133)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (33)

    Getting Started in Options arms you with the facts you need to make informed decisions about choosing stocks, tracking options, selling calls, understanding and controlling risk, and much more.

    K. Harirchian says: "'Getting Started in Options' is just that"
    "A good introduction to stock options"
    Overall

    I thought this book was a good introduction to stock options. It's not long, but it covers the basics.

    This book does not cover strategy. If you plan to invest in options this is a good starter but it won't teach you everything you know to successfully invest in options.

    If you already understand the fundamentals of options then this book is probably a little too fundamental for you.

    I have experience in stocks, and understand the basics of margin investing, short selling, and similar topics. I did not have much knowledge of options - so in my case this book was right at my level.

    I have supplemented this book with another that covers option strategies but assumes the reader knows the basics.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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